How Donald Trump Helped Democrats Pass Obamacare

June 22

In the announcement speech for his presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed against Obamacare. “We have a disaster called the big lie: Obamacare,” Trump declared. “I would repeal and replace the big lie, Obamacare.”

Well, that sounds like something a Republican candidate would say. But there is one problem: Trump helped finance the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006 — which put in place the liberal majority that passed Obamacare over the objections of congressional Republicans. And he continued to support a Democratic Senate majority after Obamacare.

Trump knows, money talks — and Trump has given more than $100,000 to the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees. In 2006 — the year Democrats took back Congress — he gave $25,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (while his son Donald Trump Jr. gave $22,500). They gave Republican committees just $1,000 that year.

In other words, Trump wanted Nancy Pelosi to be speaker of the House and Harry Reid the Senate majority leader.

Which is not surprising. At the time he made those contributions, from August 2001 to September 2009, Trump was a registered Democrat. (He had been registered in New York first as a Republican, then a member of the Independence Party, then a Democrat, then a Republican again, and then became unaffiliated.)

So maybe he came to regret it after Reid and Pelosi rammed through Obamacare? Apparently not. In 2010 — immediately after the passage of Obamacare — Trump continued to donate to Reid. Trump has donated at least $10,400 to Reid, including $4,800 for his 2010 race against Sharron Angle — a victory that helped keep the Senate in Democratic hands and Reid as majority leader. So Trump continued to support Reid as majority leader in the election immediately after the passage of Obamacare.

In his home state of New York, Trump also donated disproportionately to Democrats. The Post reported in 2011 that “The biggest recipient of all has been the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee of New York, which has taken in more than $125,000 from Trump and his companies. Overall, Trump has given nearly $600,000 to New York state campaigns, with more than two-thirds going to Democrats.” He even boasted of it. “So, what am I going to do, contribute to Republicans?” he told Fox News’S Sean Hannity. “I mean, one thing I’m not stupid. Am I going to contribute to a Republican for my whole life when they get, they run against some Democrat. And the most they can get is one percent of the vote?”

Trump also gave $50,000 to another Obamacare architect, Rahm Emanuel — the former Obama White House chief of staff — for his campaign to become mayor of Chicago. He gave $5,500 to John Kerry and $7,000 to the late liberal icon of the Senate, Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). Other Democrats who have benefited from Trump’s largesse include Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Rep. Charlie Rangel (N.Y.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.). A major issue in the 2016 election will be allegations of corruption surrounding donations to the Clinton Foundation. But it will also be hard for Trump to make an issue of that since he gave at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

Yes, Trump has given to Republicans, too, especially since he started toying with the idea of running for the Republican nomination. But Trump expresses disdain for the GOP field. He told Bill O’Reilly last week, “Well , I don’t have a lot of respect for many of them.”

With all his past support for Democrats, Trump ought to be asked: Will he commit to supporting whoever is the eventual Republican nominee? After all, why should he be welcomed into the Republican fold if he is going to end up throwing his support to Clinton?

The fact is, Trump isn’t a Democrat or a Republican — he is an opportunist. He’s less a candidate than a brand. And running for president is great for the Trump brand, an opportunity for Donald Trump to take the national stage and tell us all how great he is. He pretty much admitted as much during his announcement speech, when he pointed out that some questioned whether he was really as successful as he claimed. “So I said to myself, you know, nobody’s ever going to know unless I run, because I’m really proud of my success,” Trump said. “I really am.”

You don’t say.

Marc Thiessen writes a weekly column for The Post on foreign and domestic policy and contributes to the PostPartisan blog. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  Read more from Marc Thiessen’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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